Special Education has a history of pushing the boundaries of education. Initially the emphasis was on expanding the range of students with disabilities the public considered to be the responsibility of the schools. Next came advocacy for a broader definition of curriculum, followed by efforts to make public education more equitable relative to students with special education needs. Today Special Educators are calling for new approaches to special education, one based on the belief that our educational system can be rendered capable of meeting the needs of all students without the special organizational arrangement characterizing previous efforts to serve special populations of students. The other approach emphasizes standards-based learning and teaching. As a Professional Teacher Preparation Program in Special Education, the Department of Special Education prepares teachers in inclusive education for learners with special needs, placing emphasis on collaborative consultation, general education classroom accommodations, curriculum strategies, and family involvement. The program responds to today's critical need to train personnel in public and private schools to teach learners with special needs and to implement a philosophy of inclusion in all settings.
The Department of Special Education will be second-to-none in the integration of teaching, advancing knowledge through research and scholarship, engaging in community programs and activities, and in preparing professionals who provide exemplary educational and related services to improve the lives of learners with disabilities in a changing and complex global society.
In keeping with the primary mission of Coppin State University, the mission of the Department of Special Education is one leadership in reconceptualizing future professional roles of special educators who will assist children and youth with exceptionalities to gain greater academic independence in diverse, literacy intensive, and technology-rich educational and community settings. Central to this mission is the urgent need for highly skilled personnel.
Overall Program Objectives
The overall objectives of the Special Education Teaching Tracks are to:
- Provide prospective teachers with a broad liberal arts foundation that will increase their understanding of their environment and its impact upon different people, prepare teachers who will be sensitive to the social, emotional, and educational needs of learner with disabilities.
- Acquaint prospective teachers with the philosophical and legal bases upon which special education is founded and help them understand fully the role of the special education teacher.
- Help prospective teachers to understand the importance of diagnosis as the basis for effective instructional planning and classroom management.
- Assist prospective teachers in acquiring competencies in curriculum planning, teaching methodology, technology usage, classroom organization, and behavioral management.
Student Participation in Department Governance
Students participate in program development and evaluation by evaluating both course and the instructor(s) at the end of each semester. Students participating on faculty committees are selected through the Student Council for Exceptional Children (SCEC).